HanoiKids – Volunteer Project, Vietnam

After researching “activities to do” in Hanoi, Vietnam, I came across a volunteer project called Hanoi Kids.  It sounded great, rated No 1 on Trip Advisor and over 500 positive reviews, I wanted to find out more.

I visited the website to learn more.  Wow. What a great concept, I thought. I decided to drop an email to the club and arrange a tour.

Hanoi Kids is a student-run organisation based in northern Vietnam in the city of Hanoi.  The students voluntarily take travellers on city tours to give an insight into the culture, tradition and history of Vietnam.

We booked the tour for the first morning in Hanoi and so pleased we did as it was a great, memorable start to the trip.

imageThai (our university hanoikid volunteer) arrived at our hotel to show us around.  We had originally only planned to visit the Temple of Literature and go for a coffee afterwards, but after speaking with Thai and hearing his enthusiasm for the project and city, we were quick to decide to visit another place of interest in Thai’s presence.

We headed for Ho Chi Min’s Mausoleum and along the way Thai would happily answer any questions we had about Vietnam and the culture.

Ho-Chi-Minh Mausoleum

Ho-Chi-Minh Mausoleum

One Pillar Pagoda  The original pagoda was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong.  The current pagoda (pictured) is a replica as the original was burned down by the French in 1954.

One Pillar Pagoda
The original pagoda was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong. The current pagoda (pictured) is a replica as the original was burned down by the French in 1954.

Presidential Palace, painted in yellow, the Emperor colour

Presidential Palace, painted in yellow, the Emperor colour

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The line was extremely long at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum so we visited the gardens, One Pillar Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh’s houses. We then made our way to the Temple of Literature with a nice stroll though the city.  I had lots of questions and Thai never seemed tired of answering them.

Temple of Literature Built in 1070, this temple was established in 1076 as Vietnam's first university which was used to educate elite ranks. The university remained open until 1779. Still to this day, students cramming for exams still come here to pray for good grades.

Temple of Literature
Built in 1070, this temple was established in 1076 as Vietnam’s first university which was used to educate elite ranks. The university remained open until 1779.
Still to this day, students cramming for exams still come here to pray for good grades.

Such pretty writing, wish I could read it!

Such pretty writing, wish I could read it!


The tour was great and Thai was also really interested to hear about our lives and what it is like to live in London (he hopes to visit one day).   I can not recommend Hanoi Kids highly enough…. if you want to have a fun, interesting, informative, tour do this!  It’s also free.  At the end of our tour we offered Thai some tips to say thank you and he really didn’t want to take it, after a lot of persuading he said he would take the donation and put it towards the Hanoi kids project.  It wasn’t until a few weeks being back in the UK I received a lovely email from Hanoi Kids thanking us for our donation…. Wow…. We had half hoped Thai would have treated himself but my heart warmed at his honesty.  During our time with Thai we could feel his dedication and joy from being a Hanoi Kid.

For more details or to book a tour, check out the website:  http://www.hanoikids.org

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